Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Warning for profanity. I apologise to the Gentle Readers, but if I am not taking to strong liquor, it seems I have to resort to strong language.
The amazing, amazing thing is that after about nine thousand milligrams of Vitamin C, fistfuls of Echinacea, rivers of ginger tea, vats of chicken soup, and a stern talking to myself (Come on, you are a British woman, you cannot succumb to snot), I seem to be vanquishing the cold. I am still honking like a cross old goose who forgot to migrate, but the symptoms are easing rather than getting worse. I put it down to the kindness of the Dear Readers.
On the emotional front: still buffeted by waves of fury, disbelief, impotence.
I know the unemployment numbers are out, and there is much news in the world of the worsening economic situation. I know I should be thinking of those things and not dwelling on my own little personal three act tragedy. As I always tell myself, there are worse things happening in Chad. I am at that stage where I am in a frenzy of counting my blessings: look, look, I have a roof over my head, and food, and clean water, and fingers. (I always think of fingers, because I really don’t know what I would do if I could not type.)
It’s such a dull and labyrinthine story that I cannot bore you with it, but let us just say that someone has done me and mine egregious wrong.
So what do you do in that situation? Sometimes, people behave so badly that your jaw drops open and you start mouthing like a goldfish, as if you were in an episode of Tom and Jerry. And when you are done, shouting and swearing, using all the very worst words you can think of, yelling into vacancy, you are just left with the thing.
It’s not what I needed now.
So then I think: well, if you are the person who has done the astonishingly awful thing, and you have got away with it, you still have to be that person. Your lying and dissembling and cheating may have had a logistical result, but you still have to face yourself in the glass each morning. So maybe you don’t get away with it altogether.
And I, well, I get to choose. I can rant and moan and act like a victim, or I can live well. Because as I keep saying, over and over, living well is the best revenge.
So, today, I did my work. I had a visit from the Younger Niece, which is always a tonic for the soul. I saw my lovely step-niece, who, it turns out is having another baby. (New life; new life. Another little great niece or nephew. I said to her: oh that is so perfect, because you really do make the best small people.)
I made soup. I planted some heather and some white marjoram and more box, because you can’t have too much box. I bashed them into the earth, as if racing against the clock, because the growing season really is over, but I could not resist. I dug and dug, down on my knees, in the mud, yanking at recalcitrant roots, pulling out stones, making the holes lovely and loose and welcoming for the dear plants. I put in the compost and the plant food and tenderly settled the things in, and now there are objects of beauty where there were none. My hands and knees were covered in earth by the end, and I felt the sense of holiness that the good earth can bring.
I wrote this.
I thought of ideas for new books. Because there must always be new books.
Maybe this is the thing: this is my year for getting battered. The blows are hard, but they are not knock-outs. They are not going to keep me down on the canvas. They are not going to leave me sagging on the ropes. I’ve got tougher stuff in me than that. I’ve got The Pigeon and the Hill and this place and an enquiring mind. And my fingers. So that I may go on typing things like: fuck the fucking fuckers and the fucking horses they rode in on.
Pictures of the day:
The new heathers and marjoram and box:
The old cyclamen, still going like gangbusters:
Hydrangea, with geranium leaves in foreground:
Oldest hydrangea, now a most gracious old lady:
More hydrangea. There was a whole thing on the internet last week of Madonna caught on camera accepting one from a fan, and then turning to her left and saying how she loathes hydrangeas. How could one loathe this?:
Tiny little geranium:
Autumnal still lives:
Beautiful green stuff:
And really, how could I ever complain when I have this to gaze on?:
And the light on the hill, which tonight was quite sublime:
PS. Just re-read this, and realise I have waded deep into the Weeds of Overshare. Too tired now to change it. Please forgive. Tomorrow shall be dancing girls and pom-poms, I promise.